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Closure of Physical and Health Education program approved

Queen’s University Senate approved the closure of the Bachelor of Physical and Health Education (BPHE) programs during its meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 28.

The vote completes a process that included two years of public consultation. Admission to the program was temporarily suspended in March 2016 as recommended by the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies. A proposal for consideration of closure was brought before the Faculty Board at its Oct. 28, 2016 meeting and at its meeting on Jan. 2, 2017. The proposal was then brought before the Senate Committee on Academic Development on Feb. 8, 2017 and approved.

The reasons for the closure include:

  • The Physical Education and Kinesiology programs at Queen’s have considerable overlap in curricular content.
  • Declining interest in physical education programs throughout Canada, including a 15 per cent decrease in applications at Queen’s over the past five years, combined with a 35 per cent increase in applications to Kinesiology in the same time period.
  • Fewer opportunities for physical education teachers within the school system.
  • A lack of potential faculty members with doctoral degrees in physical education and pedagogy.

In light of the closure, the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies is currently exploring options to open the applied, placement-based physical education courses to students in the Kinesiology and Health Studies programs. Other curriculum changes will be minimal given the overlapping nature of courses offered across the Physical Education and Kinesiology programs.

Also being explored is the possible development of an undergraduate certificate program open to all Queen’s students based on the existing Exercise, Disability and Aging mini-stream offered by the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies.

The School of Kinesiology and Health Studies will also benefit from the arrival of new faculty members specializing in biomechanics/motor control and global health in the near future that will further strengthen their programs in the growing disciplines of Kinesiology and Health Studies.